South African No.8 Andries Van Schalkwyk has agreed to team up with Zebre for their debut season in the Rabodirect PRO12.
The 27-year-old has previously had spells at the Lions, Boland Kavaliers and Blue Bulls - and played against the British and Irish Lions for the Southern Kings in 2009.
However he has now been lured across to join the new Italian franchise.
"Dries is a highly-experienced player," Zebre director of rugby Roberto Manghi said. "He has played Super Rugby, Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup in his career and now, aged 27, he is at his best as a rugby player.
"We are confident he'll have a huge impact on our team both on and off the field, helping our many young players who are now approaching their first season in Rabodirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup".